Christmas is right around the corner and as a mom you’re probably keeping a running tally of gifts and cost in your mind all day. How much can we spend this year? What is it that the kids REALLY want? How much can I put on the credit card without going overboard? These are all great questions and below, I’ve provided five tips for saving money for the holidays.
Tips To Save Money During The Holidays
I love the holiday season- mostly because I love to see my children filled with excitement as we do holiday crafts, decoration and baking. I love to watch my children in their anticipation as they as they open the advent calendar. And of course, I enjoy all the extra family time without work! However, holidays can be stressful too. Especially when it comes to getting out our wallet over and over again. That is why it is so important to stretch your dollars this holiday season! Here are a few ideas that I use to help make my dollar stretch further. I hope they help you save money too!
1. Decorate efficiently
LED Christmas lights are much more efficient than regular bulbs. Not only will energy efficient lighting reduce your electric bill, they will also last longer than normal bulbs and can be reused.
2. Decorate an artificial tree
I love the smell of a live Christmas tree. But to save money, I’ll gladly replace that scent with a candle and purchase an artificial tree that I can use more than once. The money saved can then be reallocated to gifts for the kids; something I’m fairly certain they’d prefer.
3. Don’t buy, make instead
Homemade gifts are a great way to tell the people on your gift list that you care without spending a fortune. Whether you bake biscotti or hand make ornaments or knit scarves, there are lots of ways to make adorable gifts while saving money.
Growing up, my grandmother made these little chocolate coconut balls that she wrapped and gave to her neighbors and acquaintances during the holidays. This was a great way for her to save money on gifts for everyone, and it was still a great gesture to let them know that she wished them a merry holiday. There are so many DIY gifts you can give from baked goods to homemade bath salts.
4. Do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange With The Adults In Your Family.
You can save yourself a bundle if you only have to shop for one gift instead of all the adults in your family and it will give you the chance to get that one person a more meaningful gift than you might have otherwise had the time or money to select. Plus, it is lots of fun to see who gets who and what they got them!
5. Take a vacation
Instead of celebrating a traditional Christmas, every year my aunt hauls her three children off to some place warm for the holiday. The catch? One gift each and nothing more. This requires more vacation budgeting prowess so as not to overspend on a vacation what you would’ve spent during a regular Christmas. At the end of the day, the kids will enjoy this fun alternative to a more traditional holiday.
6. Budget, budget, budget
Right around Halloween or so, I begin making a list of the things I need to buy for Christmas, get the approximate prices, and save. I find it’s easier to set a price per person; $150 for Jimmy, $150 for Lisa, etc. Then I put away every cent so as to stay as far away from my credit cards as possible. In the event that I do dip into my Visa, I pick the one with the lowest interest rate and use it sparingly. In these trying economic times, we are all looking for ways to make a dollar go as far as possible.
7. Use Coupons And Coupon Sites.
There are almost always coupons available for stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Bed Bath and Beyond and others. Check your paper before you go shopping. If you shop online, check sites like retailmenot.com to save extra before you check out.
8. Keep Your Eye On The Sales.
Sites like Zulily.com over huge savings everyday. Most stores have sales on the weekends. Check circulars or online announcements and make sure you are getting the sale prices.
9. Get Rewards For The Money You Do Spend.
Take advantage of rewards for the money you spend with store saving cards. On top of that you can use a credit card at checkout that offers more rewards.
By paying attention to little things like decorating efficiently, families can make those dollars go far enough to give the kids a very happy holiday indeed. What are your favorite ways to save money during the holidays?